WITCH CROSS – Lead Vocalist Kev Moore Talks About Band’s New Album And Their Legendary Comeback!

Witch Cross - Group Promo Pic - 2013 - #5

WITCH CROSS – Lead vocalist Kev Moore of Metal legends Witch Cross has recently took time out of his unreal busy schedule to do an exclusive interview with Metal Odyssey. A huge Metal thank you to Kev for being so obliging! Below you’ll read about Kev reflecting on the writing of the forthcoming Witch Cross album: Axe To Grind. Kev also speaks with the utmost respect for the Metal legacy in which Witch Cross has earned; as well he speaks the same for his band’s former and current members.

Band chemistry, special (well-known) guest musicians on Axe To Grind, playing the Metal festival circuit and (of course) the fans of Witch Cross, are all touched upon by this talented and charismatic frontman. It’s been many years since the last Witch Cross studio release; that being 1984’s Roadrunner Records release of Fit For Fight. It’s a new Metal era for this Danish rooted Metal band. The fans never went into hiding, Metal never died and now… Witch Cross is back! Here’s what Kev Moore had to say:

Stone: Kev, how excited are you and the entire Witch Cross band & camp to see ‘Axe To Grind’ release?

Kev: We’re totally psyched-up about this release Stone – it’s very, very important to us, as ‘Fit for Fight’ has achieved such a cult status in the Metal world, all these years later we knew it would be a hard act to follow. But we think we’ve stayed true to the ethic of the original, never losing sight that ‘The song is King’.

Stone: Can you tell us Metal faithful how cool it is to have Chris Tsangarides do the mixing for ‘Axe To Grind’?

Kev: To have Chris mix the album is a huge Metal bonus for us. We had him in mind right from the start, and we are great admirers of his work in this genre, his track record speaks for itself! We knew he could help us stay true to the genre and the era from which our music is born.

Stone: Can you elaborate on the flow and chemistry as you and (guitarist/founding member) Mike ‘Wlad’ Kock wrote songs for ‘Axe To Grind’? Anyone else contribute to the songwriting?

Kev: Finding a songwriting partner that is easy to work with and complements your own ideas is not an easy task. Primarily, you have to check your ego at the door, and be prepared to have the other guy say  ‘I don’t like what you did there’ or ‘that sucks!’ because you need to focus on what is best for the song, nothing else. When Mike sent an idea over for me to look at way before we even got deep into the ‘Axe to Grind’ project, and we started ‘ping-ponging’ the ideas back and forth, I immediately knew we could write together. Mike is prolific and fast, as am I. We worked at a furious pace, honing the material to how we wanted it. I want to give huge credit to Mike, who really kept his eye on the ball regarding his vision for this album, keeping it true to the band and the genre. In addition, we really wanted to make this album very inclusive, and ‘Part of the Machine’ was co-written with our bassist, Jan ‘Little John’ Fields, and ‘Metal Nation’ was co-written with guitarist Paul Martin. To take the ‘inclusive’ vibe further, we have our original drummer from ‘Fit for Fight’, Anders “A.C” Hjort as a guest on several tracks too.

Check out the teaser video below for Axe To Grind… Whoa!

Stone: How did your guest musicians Marta Gabriel, Graham Oliver  and Jax Chambers all come on board for this exciting Metal chapter in Witch Cross history?

Kev: We’re so pleased to have these great Metal mates on board for this album! I’ve known Graham for many years, I sang with Oliver/Dawson Saxon for two tours before Wardi joined them and both Graham and I have guested on each others albums in the past. It was natural to want him to contribute to ‘Ride with the Wind’ which is a motorcycle song in the best Saxon tradition! I also get to play bass on that one, so it’s Graham and I together again like the first tour we did. We worked with the fabulous Crystal Viper at Metal Magic in Denmark last year, and Marta’s amazing vocals just knocked us out! It was an honour to have her take the part of the ‘Bird of Prey’, she just rips it to shreds… fantastic Metal stuff!

We’ve known Girlschool for years, often getting the same flights to and from Germany to shows. Jax was a natural to ask to contribute and she’s great fun! She laid down a great solo for ‘Chelsea 100’. What was also cool was my son Corey did the recording of Graham and Jax over in the UK for us, so we kept it in the family! It’s truly an honour to have these three great artists share this album with us. They rock!

Stone: Which are your favorite songs on ‘Axe To Grind’ or is the entire album a favorite?

Kev: It’s REAL hard to pick a favourite, throughout the process it’s changed…but if I had to pick one, it’s probably ‘The Killing of Chelsea 100’. I love the time signature changes and I’m very proud of the lyrics, which reference much of the history and people who went through that famous New York hotel. That said, the album as a whole is a fine body of work, in my obviously biased opinion!

Kev Moore - Promo Pic - 2013 - #1

Kev Moore

Stone: Have you performed any new songs ‘live’ yet? If so, how have the fans responded?

Kev: Yes, we’ve been performing ‘Demon in the Mirror’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’, and I have to say, we were blown away by the fans reaction! When you realize that they also have to deal with me as the ‘new’ vocalist singing the old songs and then hearing new stuff on top, it really gave us a great feeling as we were recording ‘Axe to Grind’.

Stone: Are there songs that didn’t make the cut for ‘Axe To Grind’ that (hopefully) will land on a future EP or studio album?

Kev: Hell yeah! We had so many ideas coming out that we’re well on the way to another album’s worth of material already! We had to think long and hard about what to leave off this one and things are shaping up nicely so that we hope it won’t be another 28 years between releases!

Stone: What can you tell your Metal brethren about the ‘live’ Witch Cross experiences you’ve had thus far?

Kev: You know, playing ‘Keep it True’ in Germany last year was immense for us. It was SO important. We didn’t really know how we’d be received, whether we could recapture any of the magic the band had back in the day, and from a personal perspective, whether I would be accepted as the new frontman, because, and I want to go on record with this: Alex Savage’s vocal performance on ‘Fit for Fight’ was a tour de force – it’s a superb piece of work. I’m no stranger to filling a role though. Going out singing Saxon’s catalogue with Graham Oliver, Nigel Durham and Steve Dawson was a big task too and the experience probably helped me when we resurrected WITCH CROSS.

Witch Cross - Classic Logo - Large - B&W!!

Kev: The fans reaction was truly amazing. You must remember, as is so often the case with Metal, this music gets ‘handed down’ from older brothers, or indeed through generations and there are many people who know the old songs, who never thought they’d ever hear them performed live. Some of the messages of support we’ve had have been wonderful, and the instances of meeting many of the fans at the great festivals such as Metal Magic and Heavy Metal Maniacs in Holland have been very important to us. It is a symbiotic relationship. The band IS its fans, it is our raison d’etre. Without their enthusiasm, their approval, their support, I doubt this album would have been made.

Stone: What are the release dates for ‘Axe To Grind’ in North America, Europe and the UK?

Kev: We have a tentative worldwide release for the beginning of April, but nothing more definite than that at the time of writing. I DO know that our wonderful label Hells Headbangers, will be issuing it in on both CD and 12″ vinyl. More news as we get it!


Above photos courtesy of Kev Moore.

For more info on WITCH CROSS, click on the links below!

facebook: Witch Cross



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